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Dungeons & Dragons 3e: Thicker than Water

Thicker than Water

There's a Chinese saying "Devils give you your relatives, thank all the gods that you can choose your friends" - will your party, in particular one member of it, feel that way after you have thrown this adventure at them?

Interestingly, this is an adventure which comes to the party, rather than being set in a given location to which you have to manoeuvre them. It involves a series of events driven by a single NPC, about whom plenty of background is provided. First of all, though, you have to decide how you want to run this. You can go for a 'high preparation' mode in which you build up lots of background involving your target character, who will be a descendant of Charad, who is also an ancestor of the NPC instigator. With this route, events should be spread out over a considerable length of time, with other adventures inbetween... the suggestion is that you start with the first event when the party is 3rd or 4th level, with the seventh climactic event only happening when they have reached 12th level. That takes a lot of pre-planning and campaign organisation, so two alteratives are also presented, one more compressed (especially useful if your party is already at or near 12th level when you first consider this adventure) and one that has the target character as an NPC who approaches the party for help.

The series of events are then presented, each with sufficient detail to run them with ease. Although they are linked, this will not be apparent to the party as a whole or the character singled out for attention, at least not at the time and possibly not even in retrospect. Even individually, the events are quite interesting and can occupy the party nicely as minor side-adventures, but over time they all build up. Throughout, there are references to what the party can discover should they realise that something is going on and decide to investigate a bit. The whole thing is quite open-ended, with various ways to reach the final climactic event and a range of outcomes depending on what the party does... running away is one option! Whatever they do, however it plays out, there may be consequences, and some ideas for further adventures are provided.

If you like deep, complex, long-running plots this is well worth a look, especially if you are aiming for a long-running campaign (or have already embarked upon one). There's plenty of action and excitement, and despite being focussed on just one party member, everyone will find themselves with plenty to do.

Return to Thicker than Water page.

Reviewed: 25 May 2016